Charcoal has been used for centuries not only as a tool in cooking food but to also add flavor. When charcoal grills were introduced, charcoal became even more crucial in being used for cooking. It helps keeps flames going and provides that traditional smoky flavor for your food. As charcoal production advanced, different types of charcoal have been developed, some offering a unique style than others. We'll go over the different types of charcoal that you can choose from.
Lump charcoal is fairly simple, it's made of pieces of wood that's slowly burned without oxygen, leaving chunks of carbon in the process. Lump charcoal can add a natural charred flavor to your food, and retains heat very well. Because it retains heat, it's a reliable heat source and temperatures can easily be adjusted by controlling airflow.
Briquettes are more of a cost-friendly version of lump charcoal. They're burnt down the same way as lump charcoal except briquettes are made from sawdust, leftover woods, and other additives depending on the brand. It's not pure wood like lump charcoal, but some of the additives in briquettes help the convenient-sized pieces stay together. Briquettes burn longer and more consistently than lump charcoal, however they don't burn as hot. For convenience and affordability, briquettes are a great option.
Traditionally used in Japanese cooking, Binchotan charcoal is widely touted as the best quality wood charcoal. It's made with Japanese oak that's burned at extremely high temperatures and quickly cooled down by ash and sand being thrown over it, which gives this charcoal its unique grayish-white/metallic look. Binchotan yields more heat than lump wood and burns slower, providing amazing flames in your grill. If you have a bigger budget, this luxurious charcoal is worth trying out.
Coconut Shell Charcoal
If you want charcoal that's eco-friendly, coconut shell charcoal is the best charcoal to go with. They have less of an impact on deforestation since they don't require trees to be cut down, and the ashes can even be used as fertilizer. Coconut shell charcoal burns hotter, longer, and cleaner than wood charcoal, so you wouldn't have to use as much charcoal as opposed to wood charcoal, saving you money. Coconut shell charcoal takes a longer time to start burning, but it's worth the wait if you're not in a hurry.
We provided the various types of charcoal for you to decide which one will compliment your charcoal grill, the style of flavor you want, and the way you grill food. Regardless of which one you choose, charcoal will always go hand-in-hand with charcoal grills and other appliances that rely on charcoal. Charcoal will be a reliable piece to your outdoor kitchen.